Portugal’s Center-Right Claims Victory Amid Far-Right Surge, Facing Political Uncertainty



In the recent general election in Portugal, the center-right Democratic Alliance (AD) has emerged with a narrow victory, signaling an end to the eight-year rule of the Socialist Party. However, the significant rise of the far-right party CHEGA, which has seen its vote share increase threefold, indicates a right-wing shift in Portuguese politics and points towards a fragmented and uncertain political future. The AD, led by Luis Montenegro, who campaigned on tax cuts and uniting the country, now faces the challenge of forming a government amidst this new political landscape, explicitly ruling out cooperation with CHEGA.

  • The center-right Democratic Alliance claims a slim victory in Portugal’s general election, ending the Socialist Party’s eight-year tenure.
  • Luis Montenegro, leader of the Democratic Alliance, has ruled out forming a coalition with the far-right CHEGA party, despite their significant gains.
  • CHEGA, led by Andre Ventura, surged in popularity, securing up to 18% of the vote, up from just over 7% in 2022, indicating a right-wing shift in Portuguese politics.
  • The election results leave Portugal with a highly fragmented parliament, leading to a politically unstable future with no clear majority.
  • Montenegro may attempt to form a minority government, relying on the goodwill of more moderate parties, amid significant policy differences with the Socialists and an explicit refusal to cooperate with CHEGA.
  • The rise in CHEGA’s popularity is attributed to public disappointment with mainstream politics, a major corruption scandal involving the Socialist Party, and concerns over the cost of living and immigration.
  • Portugal may see a conservative shift in social policies, particularly regarding immigration, as the new parliament navigates the country’s direction amidst its most fragmented landscape in decades.
  • Analysts suggest that the unstable political environment may lead to further elections, though it is uncertain if these would result in a clearer majority.

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